Update on Cohutta area road closures
A severe storm event in December 2015 left major damage along some Forest Service roads in the Conasauga Ranger District. The Cohutta area was impacted especially hard with numerous landslides and sinkholes, causing temporary closures of roadways.
Forest Service employees have been working hard to remove fallen trees, clear out and replace culverts, and grade and add gravel so that some roads could reopen — making them safe for travelers and minimizing further resource damage. The cost to repair the storm-related road damage across the national forest is estimated at nearly $5 million. The Forest Service is working with the Federal Highway Administration to secure funding for much of the major repair work needed.
Here are the latest important developments as of today (view on map):
﹣ FSR 68 (Potato Patch Road): This road reopened on Friday, April 22. Repairs have been made to the road after a landslide occurred between Holly Creek Gap and Barnes Creek Falls picnic area to make it safe to pass. Travelers should use caution as the road is narrow with limited shoulder in this section. Further repairs are needed and will begin when funding is secured.
﹣ Lake Conasauga recreation area access has improved with a newly opened route:
From U.S. Hwy. 411: use FSR 630 (Mill Creek Road) to FSR 17 (West Cowpen Road). Vehicles hauling trailers or campers greater than 15 feet in length are discouraged from using this route beyond Hickey Gap campground due to steep, winding and narrow roads.
From State Hwy. 52: use Conasauga Road or Gates Chapel Road to FSR 68 (Potato Patch Road). Conasauga Road is the recommended route for vehicles hauling trailers or campers greater than 15 feet in length.
﹣ FSR 17 (West Cowpen Road): A section of this road will be closed north from the intersection with FSR 630 (Mill Creek Road) beginning Monday, April 25, for the next few weeks. This temporary closure is for public safety as large trucks and heavy equipment will be on the roadway for forest management and road maintenance activities. The road will reopen once work is completed. This closure may impact access to the northern terminus of the Conasauga River Trail and day-use fishing at Murrays Lake.
For the most current and complete information about the Conasauga Ranger District roads – including access to Lake Conasauga recreation area, check the Forest Service website at http://go.usa.gov/cu4Mm or subscribe to email updates at http://tinyurl.com/hwawqk4. Download free maps of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests’ road system.
To receive instant alerts and updates on forest information, download the forest’s free mobile app for your smartphone or tablet, or visit us on the Web at www.fs.usda.gov/conf. You can also get the latest forest news by texting ‘follow chattoconeenf’ to 40404, ‘liking’ us on Facebook and following us on twitter @ChattOconeeNF . The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, thousands of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.